Probe launched into Galway County Board accounts

Probe launched into Galway County Board accounts

An internal audit is under way into the accounts of the Galway County Board after concerns were raised at a recent meeting, writes John Fogarty.

It is understood they relate to the “governance of Galway GAA in general”, which was raised in a report compiled early last year at the behest of chairman Pat Kearney.

There had been suggestions that an external auditor be appointed to assess the books but for now an internal audit has commenced and should be completed by next month.

Club delegates were informed last week of fears about the administration of finances in the county. Last year’s report, compiled by vice-chairman Kenneth Fox, PRO Seamus Finnerty, and children’s officer Pat Monaghan, found that there were “serious deficiencies” in the handling of cash at Duggan Park.

The group discovered the problems were widespread.

The report read: “Originally raised on foot of gate receipts which had not been lodged three months after the event at which they were collected, serious deficiencies were discovered in our cash handling procedures. It emerged without dispute from any party that there is no systematic reconciliation between monies collected at individual gates/matches and the lodgement to the Galway GAA bank account.”

It continued: “There is currently no transparent systematic method of ensuring all monies collected have been lodged as gate vouchers are reconciled with lodgements on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.

“This is a fundamental control measure.”

After expressing unhappiness with how cash was handled there as well as safety standards at the Ballinasloe venue, Duggan Park Committee chairman Christy Browne stepped down from the group overseeing the stadium. The likes of Browne felt the findings of the report vindicated their stance.

In a statement, they wrote: “A lot of headlines raised concerns about cash deficiencies. It has to be pointed out that their (sic) has never been an issue with cash deficiencies within Duggan Park.

“All persons who handled cash within Duggan Park did so in the correct manner and any deficiencies occurred away from Duggan Park.”

Among the recommendations of the report were Browne and another Duggan Park committee member Willie Ward “be invited to resume their roles”, which they have done since but only after being a written agreement was signed with the board.

At the time, county chairman Kearney said the report’s findings had been accepted and he would chair a group to ensure they were realised as soon as possible.

This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.

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